Monday, 24 April 2017
This morning we caught the train to Netanya, to visit our dear friends, Gertie & Morris Forman. It has been over fourteen years since we have last seen them, but it's if the years didn't matter and it felt like yesterday since we had last gotten together.
Gertie and Morris were excellent tour guides and made sure we saw all the highlights of Netanya and beyond. We had breakfast in an outdoor cafe in Netanya on the square, then later, ice cream at a beach-side cafe.
Next, we enjoyed a lovely rest and tea at Gertie and Morris' beautiful apartment overlooking the magnificent beaches of Netanya. After catching up about our families and life, we continued on our wonderful tour.
We drove on to Hertzaliyah, where we walked the marina and had a late afternoon snack at one of the malls.
They even drove us home to our B&B ... even though the GPS took a "round-a-bout way" through the back alleys of Tel Aviv! Sure hope you made it home OK guys!!!
Thank you so much for the incredible day and the pleasure of your company!!
Monday, 17 April 2017
On Saturday night, we hooked up with Bernie's 1st cousin Tamara, who lives in Israel with her family. She lives just outside of Jerusalem and drove in especially to see us after Shabbat. It was so great to see her and catch up!
We just keep meeting Rabbi Yossi Biston by chance everywhere! (three times now).This time we spotted him when we were having a hot chocolate with Tamara. Thought we really should get a picture this time!
SUNDAY is the Sixth day of Pesach and NOT a holiday ... so time for MORE adventures!
This morning we caught the bus from the Central bus station to visit a friend of Barry & Sandra Greenspan's, who lives on Kibbutz Gezer. The bus ride was spectacular and we saw another part of the landscape around Jerusalem that we had never seen before. We travelled up and down a small two-lane highway, passing little villages, ruins, a monastary and towns. We even drove up an escarpment, much like around Collingwood, Ontario and got off up at the bottom where Emmanuel picked up up.
Emmanuel and his lovely wife Yokki, welcomed us into their home on Kibbutz Gezer, where they have lived for thirty years.
They gave us a guided tour, by foot, of the entire kibbutz. One of the highlights was the dairy. Each cow has a bracelet that has a chip, where they can ID the cow, measure it's milk output, how much cream etc. This dairy is extremely advanced and completely computerized!
We saw many beautiful gardens, a huge sculpture park, baseball field and massive swimming pool. We also saw the children's daycare, after school care, general store, activities centre, and met many of the kibbutznics.
We were over-whelmed by the gardens, where plants, flowers and herbs of almost every kind grew wild and in the many, many gardens. They even had a massive cactus garden around the back of the old dining hall.
After a short rest and lunch, Emmanuel took us on an amazing driving tour, to the city of Ramla, where there is a place called "Seven Arches", an underground water reservoir with pillars holding it up and you can actually go boating under ground. We continued our drive and saw some Arab villages, one in particular where Arab and Jews live side-by-side called "Wahat Al-Salam" at the top of a beautiful lookout.
We also drove by the newly constructed, not-yet-open, massive hi-speed train line to Jerusalem, that will open at the end of this year.
At the end of day, after seeing the many incredible vistas of the foothills around Jerusalem, Emmanuel drove us back to our hotel in Jerusalem after a really fun time. We were so-o tired! Thanks for an "Amazing Day" ... Yokki & Emmanuel!!!
On Monday, the last day of Passover, Bernie went to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue again ... and who did he meet??? ... Cyril Fried's best friend when growing up in South Africa. He just happens to be "The Director" of the famous synagogue choir.
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 - APRIL 22, 2017 ... OUR WEEK IN TEL AVIV!
We checked into our Very Cool Air B & B in Tel Aviv - our hosts; Sammy, Dan & Eddie greated us very warmly! Their very cozy & chic apartment overlooks "Meir Park", a park that is like no other! I has a restaurant, a pond, a dog park. many playgrounds, exercise parks, walking paths, benches gardens and so much more ... right in the of Tel Aviv.
Darlene Bushewsky arranged a great tour for us to the Na'Amat Canada Glickman Centre Womens Shelter & Daycare, where we met some of the staff and toured the daycare facility and crisis centre. Watch for a special aticle in the Pipelline in an upcoming issue!
We spent a very relaxing week going to the shuks, shopping, eating and taking in the sights and sounds, and hanging out at the beaches!
Our hosts invited us to their twice monthly "Shabbat Dinner", where they host over 20 friends, family, B & B guests and "Eat-With" guests to a very ecclectic Shabbat.
We love you Sammy, Dan & Eddie - you made our stay with you so much fun!
Friday, 14 April 2017
We are now at Hotel Shani, just a mere four blocks from our former B & B, and right in the middle of all the action - just off Hillel Street and the light rail transit line.